Juvenile Life-Sentence Bill Dies In Legislature

Posted at 9:41 AM, Mar 31, 2016

A bill that would have allowed juvenile offenders to have shorter life-in-prison sentences has died in the Tennessee Legislature.

Under Tennessee law, any person who is currently sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole must serve an automatic 51 years behind bars before being eligible to be paroled. The bill would have allowed juveniles who are tried as adults to become eligible for parole after serving 30 years. It would have applied to juveniles convicted of first-degree murder.

The legislation was sponsored by Senator Reginald Tate of Memphis and Representative Brenda Gilmore of Nashville, both Democrats.

Lawmakers on Wednesday sent the issue to be studied after the legislative session.